Where’s This “3 Months Off” I Hear Good Things About?

Just got back from a short vaca on the west coast, where I left the 100 degree temps of Las Vegas for the 100 temps of Philadelphia.  Yey humidity!  I’m spending the morning catching up on e-mails and twitter and other silliness, when it occured to me that my summertime is quickly eroding into nothingness.  Lots of great math professional development yet to come, and scads of math and science folks to meet and connect with!

TMC logoNext week is Twitter Math Camp at Drexel University.  This is the second year for TMC, but my first time attending.  125 math educators from around the country, having bonded online through Twitter and blogs, will converge on Philadelphia to share ideas, lessons and experiences.  I’m looking forward to meeting many of the folks I have communicated with and stolen ideas from through Twitter and their blogs.  While I often like to volunteer and share at conferences, this is one where I am content to participate and learn.  You can find out more about many of the folks attending through the mathtwitterblogospehere page.  Follow the hashtag #tmc13 to check in on the action from July 25 – 28.

From August 3-9, I am back for a 3rd year with the Siemens STEM Academy, held at Discovery Education HQ is Silver Spring Maryland.

STEM Academy

This my 2nd time as team lead, and real excited about what is an exciting, exhausting schedule for the group.  Don’t want to give away any surprises here, but updates on the blog will occur during the week!  Check out some of the STEM-tastic events from last year:

Thanks to Kyle, Mike and the Discovery Education gang for having me back for another summer of STEM fun!

After the 9th of August, there’s 2 weeks left before I head back for district-mandated fun.  But there’s curriculum to write!  Meetings earlier with Algebra 2 teachers have been fantastic, and some of my colleagues have been busy poring through blogs for great new class activities, especially enjoying:

I’m glad that my colleagues have begun to enjoy the great works of the math blog world, and looking forward to more learning!

So, to my non-teacher friends, neighbors and family.  Ask me again how I am enjoying my summer off… may want to take a step back or suffer a quick kick to the shins!

Algebra Middle School Technology

Siemens STEM Academy – Sunday with Lodge

This week, I have the incredible opportunity to participate in the Siemens STEM Academy, held at Discovery HQ in Silver Spring, MD.  This year, I am serving as a team leader, after having been an attendee (fellow) last year.  What a tremendous week of sharing with colleagues who are are all into advancing the cause of STEM education.  As a team leader, I am excited to share my skills and ideas with the group, and will post parts of my presentation to the blog later this week.

Right now, the group is hearing from Dr. Lodge McCammon, a pioneer in using music and video to stimulate and educate students.  This year’s group of 50 fellows, after some initial networking, are hearing about Lodge’s process for putting together his songs, which often require the recruitment of his mom and dad to perform musical parts.


But moving beyond the songs, Lodge seeks to have students symbolize the lyrics through movement, the “Kinesthetic Lecture”.  Today, the fellows learned new “moves” to share for Lodge’s “Mitosis” song.  Check out there lyrics here (you can also experience more of Lodge’s great songs there), and the kinesthetic moves below:

Lodge is also an expert in the “flipped” classroom model, where teachers produce videos of lessons and concepts, for students to watch and review at home.  In the presentation, Lodge shared anecdotes and ideas for implementing the flipped model.  Many of his ideas and resources can be found at his FIZZ site on the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation.  Here’s a quick introduction by Lodge explaining the flipped concept:

I have worked with a number of teachers who are interested in the flipped model, and the flipped ideas have received much press through sites like Khan Academy.  Lodge has collected data on the success of the flipped model through middle school math teachers he works with,  including a comparison of a teacher-created video lesson versus Khan Academy.  I appreciate that Lodge stresses the need for teachers to produce their own videos, and continue to be identified as their students’ educational expert:

It’s critical that the teacher be the deliverer.

Teachers teaching cannot be outsourced and replaced.

Teachers matter now more than ever!  You can follow Lodge on Facebook at  What a fantastic kick-off to the week. Looking forward to hearing about and sharing more classroom ideas.